Neighbors

by Jim Doss
Wild Poetry Forum
Second Place, October 2021
Judged by Donna Emerson


A boy is born into a great country
Twenty years pass
Now he is just a dead soldier
Almost unrecognizable in desert sands
The same boy who came to our rescue
Carrying a basket of peaches up the stairs
And two or three fell out
Tumbled down the steps
Their soft sounds mingling
With the everyday sounds of the world
And we watched him pause for a moment
To listen to the songs
Coming from the stone birdbath
The different pitch in each voice


This succinct portrait of a boy who became a soldier initially sounds simple and direct until the poem’s surprising center, when that boy “came to our rescue.” We see and hear the peaches tumbling. We watch the boy’s tender attention to the many voices of the birds outside. The poet’s skill with word choice and pacing slows us to a stop, a place of wonder and reflection. ---Donna Emerson

  • April 2022 Winners

    • First Place

      To Patrick
      by Sylvia Maclagen
      Babilu

      Second Place

      Cancer
      by Elizabeth Koopman
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      Grandmother in Heaven
      by Jim Doss
      Babilu

  • March 2022 Winners

    • First Place

      September Heat
      by Andrew Dufresne
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Second Place

      At the Cancer Center
      by Terry Ofner
      The Waters

      Third Place

      At Last Ghazal
      by Greta Bolger
      The Waters

      Honorable Mention

      Died Last Fall
      by ieuan ap hywel
      The Writer's Block